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Hitt og þetta 1. september 2006

DJ EUROPEAN MIDDAY BRIEFING FROM DOW JONES NEWSWIRES


AMERICAN MARKETS OUTLOOK: U.S. stock markets are set to open a little higher Friday, following Europe's lead, and as people wait for the nonfarm payroll figures for August, according to Angus Campbell at Finspreads Spreadbettors. The employment data, due at 1230 GMT, "will determine where trading goes today," Campbell said. He added that the tension over Iran has been "pretty much priced in" by the market, which awaits further news of any sanctions by the U.N. after Iran vowed to continue its nuclear program.

Finspreads is calling the Dow Jones Industrial Average to open up 10 points at 11,391, and the S&P 500 up 1.2 points at 1305.

EUROPEAN MARKETS: European markets are higher midday ahead of key U.S. economic data, helped by strength in the health care sector after French drug maker Sanofi-Aventis won a patent case for its Plavix blood thinning treatment.

London's FTSE 100 is up 0.46% at 5933.30 as miners help support the index. The sector was boosted after BHP Billiton confirmed that 2052 union workers at its Escondida copper mine in Chile, the world's largest, will resume work Saturday after a 25-day strike. BHP Billiton shares are up 1.7%.

Frankfurt's DAX is up 0.35% at 5880.30 extending earlier gains. Uncertainty over Iran and the possibility of hurricane-induced higher oil prices may continue to weigh on sentiment in September, says a technical analyst.

Paris' CAC 40 is up 0.3% at 5182.40.

Bunds and gilts are modestly lower in cautious trade ahead of key U.S. jobs data at 1230 GMT. The session's series of softer euro-zone PMI manufacturing surveys briefly lifted bunds, but traders quickly took profits ahead of the U.S. payrolls. At 1025 GMT, September bunds were down 0.01 at 118.26, while September gilts were down 0.15 at 110.23.

The dollar is mostly lower in Europe around midday as the markets prepare for the Labor Day holiday in the U.S. and wait for the non-farm payrolls, which could raise expectations that the Fed will have to raise interest rates again. By 1025 GMT, the dollar was down at Y117.30, the euro edged up to $1.2815 and the pound was down at $1.9030.

===========================

TOP STORIES:

EURO ZONE CONSUMER SPENDING SLOWED IN 2Q: Economic growth across the 12 members of the euro zone picked up in the second quarter of 2006, despite a marked slowdown in the growth of consumer spending. (Data Snap by Paul Hannon)

EU PRES WARNS AGAINST EARLY DECISION ON IRAN SANCTIONS: The European Union presidency cautioned against an early decision to impose economic and other sanctions against Iran, saying that "for the E.U., diplomacy remains the Number One way forward." (AP)

SANOFI SHARPLY CUTS FY EPS GUIDANCE: Sanofi-Aventis S.A. (SNY) sharply cut its 2006 outlook after a U.S. court blocked sales of generic copies of its best-selling blood thinner Plavix, but failed to order a recall of products already shipped. (By Elena Berton)

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INSIGHT & ANALYSIS FROM DOW JONES NEWSWIRES:

=FOREX FOCUS: Will 2006 be the year that sterling climbs back over $2.00 for the first time since 1992? It certainly looks like it. (By Nicholas Hastings)

=CHARTING EUROPE: September is upon us and in London the rain is pouring down. Whether this month will also lead to a decline in European equity markets remains to be seen but if historical data is to be believed another downleg is just around the corner. (By Axel Rudolph)

=THE SKEPTIC: If by putting Aston Martin up for sale, Ford is abandoning plans to sell Jaguar, then the Dearborn-based automaker is making the wrong decision. (By Howard Wheeldon)

===========================

STILL TO COME

COUNTRY PERIOD

ET/GMT
0830/1230 US Aug Non-farm Payrolls
0830/1230 US Aug Unemployment Rate
0940/1340 US Aug ECRI Inflation Gauge
0945/1345 US Aug University Of Michigan Consumer
Sentiment Index, final (mid-Aug 78.7)
1000/1400 US Aug ISM Mfg Index
1000/1400 US Jul Construction Spending
1000/1400 US Jul Pending Home Sales
1000/1400 US Fed Chmn Bernanke speaks in Dillon,
S.C.
1400/1800 US Bond markets close early ahead of Labor
Day holiday
N/A US Aug Auto Sales
===========================

OTHER NEWS:

The euro zone's jobless rate was stable at 7.8% in July, data from the European Union statistics agency Eurostat showed. (Data Snap by Nina Koeppen)

The purchasing managers index for the euro zone's manufacturing sector fell to 56.5 in August from 57.4 in July, market sources said. (By Paul Hannon)

Switzerland-based electrical engineering company ABB Ltd (ABB) Friday said it was poised to sell its U.S. unit Lummus Global in the medium term after the non-core oil and gas subsidiary exited Chapter 11 proceedings and successfully rid itself of asbestos lawsuits. (By Goran Mijuk)

French communications equipment maker Alcatel SA (1300.FR) said it has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to acquire the UMTS access business of Nortel Networks Corp. (NT) for $320 million. (By Nina Sovich)

French state-owned electricity giant Electricite de France SA (1024251.FR) said first-half net profit almost doubled on buoyant international activities, but it warned that operating profit for 2007 and 2008 could be significantly hit by a new energy bill being drafted(By Anne-Sylvaine Chassany)

Shares C&C Group (CCR.DB) rose over 7% in London after the Irish drinks maker said it expects sales in the first half to rise more than 25%, due to an excellent performance by Magners cider in the U.K. (By Michael Carolan)

U.K. pub group Greene King PLC (GNK.LN) said that its performance in the first quarter was positive, with trading in Scotland since a smoking ban took force better than expected. (By Michael Carolan)

U.K. gambling and leisure company Rank Group PLC (RNK.LN) Friday unveiled a 2.9% fall in first-half underlying earnings - hurt by restructuring operating costs - and said it continues to assess the strategic fit of its Hard Rock cafe chain. (By Lilly Vitorovich)

One of the consortia attempting to acquire U.K. retirement home specialist McCarthy & Stone PLC (MCTY.LN) moved a step closer to clinching the deal when it made a deal with a potential rival. (By Molly Dover)

Shares of U.K. specialty chemicals company Croda International PLC (CRDA.LN), which have been suspended since June, rose sharply after it published a prospectus detailing its acquisition of part of Imperial Chemicals Industries PLC (ICI.LN). (By Anita Likus)

Rightmove PLC (RMV.LN), the U.K.'s largest property Web site, said it had more than doubled its first-half operating profit due to increased advertising sales and price rises. (By Molly Dover)

Private equity companies Apax Partners (APX.YY) and Nordic Capital announced a SEK15.6 billion offer for Capio AB (CAP.SK) but the Swedish healthcare company rejected it, saying the bid was too low. (By Magnus Hansson)

Dutch supermarket company Laurus NV (34077.AE) reported a net loss over the first six months of 2006, adding that it expects to remain loss-making the rest of the year and won't be able to meet its bank covenants in the fourth quarter. (By Stefan Simons)

-By Matthew Allen, Dow Jones Newswires; 44-207-842-9447; matthew.allen@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 01, 2006 07:00 ET (11:00 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2006 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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